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  1. Probably because ours has settled, so they have extra capacity. Although it might not be the same one - ours was handled by Ball Janik.
  2. That's exactly the plan. Except we want to fix it ourselves, if possible - just not sure how to do it. That's why I showed up here.
  3. So, did everyone who wanted one get a copy of that report from Forensic, and does anyone have any thoughts on it? Thanks in advance for your time if you read it!
  4. John, I'm pretty sure it wasn't Forensic's fault - I was there when they did their inspection and I didn't see them doing anything in that area. Besides, the inspection was done almost 3 years ago so it's probably too late to prove that it was them anyway. Jim has described the scenario pretty much perfectly, except that there wasn't any fixed buy-in amount. Each homeowner who joined the lawsuit was to be responsible for an equal share of the law firm's expenses and there was no information provided at all for how much that might be. So we would have been signing up to be responsible for some unknown amount of money, for which we would have to take their word that it was valid, without any idea if we would get any money from the settlement at all. The whole situation felt shady to us so we decided to bow out. The risk to reward ratio just didn't seem like a good bet. I've posted the "preliminary building envelope investigation" report to Dropbox for anyone who wants to take a look at it: https://db.tt/yMMpuRA6
  5. Sent. Let me know if anyone else wants a copy. Just keep your large grain of salt handy since this was prepared at the behest of the lawyers who were preparing to sue Arbor.
  6. There is a barrier, but it wasn't installed properly. That was part of the basis of the lawsuit. However, we're not prepared to replace all the siding to fix it - not having damage under our siding gives me some confidence that they didn't do too crappy a job on our particular house.
  7. Not on our house, no. There was a small amount of rot behind the bottom edge of the window over the garage; they replaced the affected piece of wood trim. A number of houses in the neighborhood had major damage under the siding and had to be completely redone, but I'm not aware of any of the larger houses like ours being that affected. Ours was one of the least affected they looked at, which was a big reason why we did not join the lawsuit. Actually, I should clarify slightly - if you read their report you would think that we did have water damage. I'm going from what they told me and what I saw myself when they had it opened up. Reading it again now, almost 3 years after the fact, I have a feeling that the report is mostly boilerplate that describes the general condition of the homes in the neighborhood, not ours specifically. It seems rather detailed for the amount of time they spent and the limited number of spots they looked at (I believe there are 4). We could have paid extra for a report that had pictures of what damage they found, but it didn't seem necessary once we decided not to join the lawsuit. I kind of wish now that we had; it would be interesting to see how many of these dire-sounding descriptions they could actually support with evidence.
  8. I'm not sure how much these are going to help - I may have to get ahold of a real camera instead of using my phone. But here's what I have for now. The first picture, with the window far away, is what it looks like from the corner of the house (which is just outside frame to the left). The next picture, closer to the window, is the next part of that side of the house. You can see (I hope) where the slipping boards stop. The last picture is a bit more context for the worst one, the one with the visible nail hole. The caulk marks around the window were made by Forensic; they opened up the house in a few places to check for water damage and the kitchen window was one of them. They caulked the areas they worked on and replaced a few pieces of siding (presumably ones they had to destroy to get the opening started). Do these help at all? Click to Enlarge 56.3 KB Click to Enlarge 53.54 KB Click to Enlarge 58.95 KB
  9. The siding is actually holding on to the paint just fine. It's only the white trim (real wood underneath) and the wood shingles on the front that look really bad. But the paint Arbor uses is the thinnest, cheapest stuff you can get so the color is pretty faded. That means that in order to repair the spots where Forensic pulled off siding and replaced it with fresh pieces, we have to paint the whole thing or the new paint will be very noticeable. So basically we are being "rewarded" for having played along with the lawsuit even to the extent that we did.
  10. I have used a hammer before - I'm not *that* green! I'll get some pictures as soon as I can. Probably tonight if it's not raining.
  11. Believe me, Mark, I know. But house painting is not a little money - it's at least $3500 to have this house painted. We were hoping to put it off until we could better afford it, and so it would be fresh when we sold the house, but it was not to be. Our HOA is as terrible as the builder; they look the other way when people do unapproved changes to their houses, often approving after the fact things that they would not have approved if the people had asked first. But they are ruthless about the things that they can press without worrying about getting sued. I used to be on the board so I have far too much first-hand experience with them. We're going to buy or rent a very tall Little Giant ladder, which is extra wide at the bottom, and I already have the stabilizer bar for the top of it. We will probably take turns going up the ladder with the other standing by to stabilize the bottom. We'll be doing it in stages - pressure washing, scraping/priming, caulking or flashing, masking and then finally painting. We'll be able to do most of that from the ground up, giving us a chance to get used to being on the ladder before we have to work at the very top.
  12. I'm going to reply to everyone all at once, and somewhat quickly as I'm supposed to be working: Jim, I'm not so much griping about having to do maintenance as I'm griping about having to do it on the HOA's schedule. We plan to move in a couple of years and had hoped to put off painting until then. I didn't even realize we had an issue with disappearing caulk and slipping siding until I looked more closely. I will take your word for it that Arbor is no worse. All I can say is that it's pretty bad. We've had some neighbors have floods because their upstairs plumbing has given way, lovely things like that. I have tried to move the piece with the nail hole back up into position but it is stuck fast and will not move at all. None of the saggers will move. I'm thinking we have to take down the whole section and rehang it, but am not quite sure how to do that without starting at the very top, which seems unpleasant and hopefully unnecessary. Kurt, we are both software engineers. You're right, not terribly suited to this sort of work. But he is willing to do it, even though he doesn't want to or enjoy it, because money is tight right now and we have to do everything for ourselves that we possibly can. When we move we are hoping to get a house closer to Portland with a larger yard, which means going up in price. To do that we're going to have to buy a fixer-upper and work on it ourselves. He knows that he needs to learn to do this stuff no matter how much he doesn't enjoy it. I may have an unrealistic view of things but painting an extra-tall two story house is a much more daunting task than redoing some siding that we can reach from the ground. So, if you are willing I would still like to know what we need to do. Every handy person started somewhere...
  13. I had a feeling my question would bring out a range of responses, based on what I had already read in this thread. Mark, if I had it to do over again I might think twice about buying a house with Hardiplank, or would at least have taken a closer look at the installation. In fact, if I had it to do over again I would not buy an Arbor house at all. But under the circumstances, I'll settle for making it reasonably right. Completely right is probably not going to happen, as it sounds like a great deal of work and expense. I guess it could be worse - we have none of those golf ball dimples you show in your pictures, nor any of the cracked planks that are in some of the other pictures in this thread. There are one or two places that might be spalling as you said, but they are way up high and I won't be getting a good look at them for a few months yet (we will need to rent or buy a ladder to get up there). From the ground it's hard to tell if the end of the plank has swollen or flaked or something along those lines or if it has warped and is bending outward slightly. We are not super handy people - every thing we tackle is a new journey of discovery, as they say. I kind of enjoy this kind of work as long as I have a clue of what I'm doing; my husband hates it, so things tend to get put off until they have to be done. Neither of us has ever painted the exterior of a house either, but at least that is easy to research online. The only reason we're doing that is the HOA is requiring it this year. So, having said that - Kurt, what do you want to see more pictures of? Those two sagging boards are the worst; there are maybe 5 - 6 of them total. It looks like it's only happening in one relatively small area, I believe all below 6' off the ground. My hunch is that the guy who installed the planks in this area was even less knowledgeable than usual and did something wrong, but I have no way of knowing. I am ok with not having a perfect installation, but I'd like to correct the most egregious problems and at least make it look nice. I mentioned that Arbor gets sued a lot. They have actually been sued by many of our neighbors, and the suit is just settling now. The main issue was that they didn't install the Tyvek moisture barrier properly, but lots of other defects were noted along the way. We didn't participate in the suit because we aren't the original owners and so would be entitled to less compensation, and since the legal expenses were to be divided evenly among all the homeowners we were concerned about getting very little or even ending up owing them money. We did have Forensic Building Consultants do the preliminary evaluation on our house. They found lots of defects but did not find the major mold and rot issues that some of our neighbors had. A number of the smaller homes in this development have had to have nearly all the siding replaced; interestingly the larger, more expensive homes like ours seem to be better built and have more minor issues. So, given our second owner status and the lack of major problems, we thought it too risky to join the suit. I just found the report, which had this to say about the siding: - Inadequate clearance at siding terminations or interfaces with adjacent building components, including the following location(s): o Less than 3/8" clearance between siding and metal flashing at horizontal terminations o Less than 1/4" clearance between siding and vinyl fenestration frame o Less than 2" clearance between siding and horizontal paved surface - Improper siding fastener schedule, including the following condition(s): o Lap siding planks fastened less than 3/4" from plank top edge o Siding not adequately secured to underlying structure (evidenced by deflection of lap siding planks) - Greater than 1/8" width of lap siding plank butt joints So there you go. Have I mentioned that Arbor is a crappy builder? Does anyone think I should be getting in touch with James Hardie? Or is 10 years out just too long for anyone to care about installation problems, no matter how bad? Let me know what additional info or pictures you guys (or any one else) would like to see and I will provide them ASAP. Thanks very much for taking the time to respond!
  14. Hi all, I know this is a somewhat old topic but this looked like a good place to post my question as there are knowledgeable people in this thread. I own a 10 year old home near Portland, Oregon. For those who are local, it was built by Arbor; for those who aren't, think sleazy mass market builder who gets sued a lot. We are going to be painting the house ourselves this summer, and as such I've been taking a closer look at it than I usually do. We have Hardiplank and overall it's in pretty good condition, except for the large gaps where the caulk disappeared a long time ago. We had no idea you were supposed to re-caulk a two story house on a regular basis. A few of the boards have cupped out slightly on the ends, but nothing major. However, there's one section of siding, on the west side of the house, where some of the pieces appear to have slipped. Representative pictures below. They aren't loose, in fact they don't move at all when I try to wiggle them. One of them has a visible nail hole with no nail in it (not torn out). Can anyone please tell me: - what the heck happened here? (a shoddy installation job is a given, it's Arbor) - how do we fix this with a minimum of removing and replacing? - are there any good homeowner references out there on how to work with this stuff? I presume we probably would not understand the official installation instructions nor have the correct tools to follow them. - is there any point in contacting James Hardie after 10 years? We are not the original owners of the house and have no idea what the warranty is on this stuff. Further, since we are going to have to touch every single joint on the house, is it worth our while to try to install flashing under the joints? Is this a homeowner-level task? Smearing on caulk sounds easier but I don't want to be up there again in a couple of years (did I mention it's a two story house? Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer advice or pointers to other information. This task is completely new to us so we have a *lot* to learn. Click to Enlarge 44.12 KB Click to Enlarge 43.77 KB
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